“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggles, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individual”. These words of Martin Luther King Jr. are equally significant today as they were yesterday.
On the morning of 21st August, 2013 when we should be ashamed of Narendra Dabholkar’s assassination, Sanatan Prabhat writes : one gets what one deserves. So, this was the price fixed up for believing human and humanitarian value. Just after his death the Maharashtra government passed the Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and other Inhuman Practices of Black Magic Bill. Narendra dabholkar (Doctor by profession) had put in extreme honest efforts for two decades for the removal of this social evil. The Bill that was pending for last two decades is passed overnight, how and why so? The situation will not be completely reversed as a result of the act. It needs a complete reform of mindset. We have internalized the superstitions as the way of life. The irrational ways surrounds every aspect of our lives and it is assumed that if not followed, god’s grace will be denied. The humans customize every option to suit their way without even evaluating them. It is never against the religion and faith but the irrationality and illogical aspects. Dabholkar was never against the religion and he separated it from superstitions very clearly. After being called Modern India, where is the modernity of thoughts that requires rational evaluation and inquiry of opinions. The constitution of India also backs the promotion of scientific temperament, spirit of enquiry , spirit of reform and humanism.
Dabholkar called for the eradication of the rituals which have social, economic and political repercussions. In fact, witchcraft and black magic are among the key contributors towards violence against women. The average number of women killed after being branded ‘witch’ is 200 every year. Faith strengthens our objectives for existence, our belief for human values but never to humiliate others. The blind, illogical faith leads us to nowhere. The number of sexual assaults by self-styled godmen, the vicious cycle of indebtedness, the waste of tons of food grains in the name of traditions (e.g. akshada ceremony in marriages), public humiliation of members of community who are “unwanted”, forceful feeding of human excreta are not at all professed by any religion. If the context of criticism by Hindu fundamentalists is pointing fingers at the rituals and disrespecting them, then the answer would be that he was more faithful to humane values than “true religion followers”. He named his son ‘Hamid’ after prominent Muslim social reformer and his daughter lit the pyre. It very well exemplify the advocacy for respect and equality. Narendra Dhabolkar went with the hope that he would be victorious someday but our attitude shows that we didn’t deserve a man like him (ultimately killed by US). We call ourselves rational and liberal individuals then why do we even need other creature like us to show the LIGHT, why isn’t our logic guiding us towards RIGHT? He has atleast given us a vision. The fulfillment of that vision would be the ultimate tribute to him!!